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Minolta Autpak-8 D10


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#1 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:50 PM

I just purchased a Minolta Autopak-8 D10 off eBay. Pretty nice cam from what I've been reading. It hasn't arrived yet, but I was wondering what I should check for regarding the electrical stuff, metering, etc. to make sure it is in basic working condition. I recently read a post by somebody who said the electrics in this model don't age particularly well, and that once the EE goes you can't use it, because the auto system is somehow tied to the manual system. So I just want to be able to somewhat knowledgeably check out these things when I get it to make sure all is as advertised.

Also -- I just bought some Kodak 500T and was wondering what would be the best settings for its use in the Minolta D10 and whether I need a filter for night shooting with 500T (an 80 filter?) or when shooting daytime with 500T (use the inbuilt 85 or no filter at all?)

(I've also got a Canon 814 Electronic but have never used 500T with it...)

Any thoughts appreciated!
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#2 Ian Payne

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

Hi, I have a minolta 10d, unfortunately the light meter has done as you have described, with no manual override it is just an ornament. Batteries are in the handle. Put a roll of film in the camera and just check the light meter in the view finder is moving with the light changes. If you manage to get a good one well done as its a beautiful camera with an amazing looking lens. I tried to get mine fixed but no one would touch it. There are quite a few settings like variable shutter and exposure compensation that need to be checked that they are set correctly before filming. Good luck
The 814 electronic read correctly up to 400tungsten.(according to canon museum) Ive never used negative so dont know if thats close enough.
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#3 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:17 AM

Thanks, Ian. I will check the light meter when the Minolta arrives. It's kind of cool to be able to use an expensive cam I could not afford back when Super 8 was in its heyday in the '70s.

I do not think the intervalometer is included in the package -- at least it wasn't shown in the photos -- so I was wondering if the intervalometer for my Canon 814 might possibly work with it? (I have never used it.) If not, would you possibly still have the intervalometer from your defunct D10? I would be happy to purchase it from you,,,
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#4 Ian Payne

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:55 AM

Sorry , never had the invalometer. the Canon timer wont work on it as it has different electrical contacts.
The timer used with the 814 electronic is amazingly good. as far as im concerned the 814 is the best camera ive ever used and the pictures are great. The 814 has the reverse problem to the 10d , usually that the manual meter packs it in.
By the way the 10d also needs an extra battery pack for slow motion.
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#5 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:02 AM

Thanks, Ian. Yes, the battery pack for high speed filming on the D10 looks to be included. As far as the Canon 814, could you tell me how to test manual mode to see if it is working? I have only shot four or so rolls with it, and the images seemed not as clear as I expected. Not bad, but maybe something with the lens? Could you tell me how I might check for fungus on the lens -- is it something you can see with a magnifying lens? If so, what would I look for?
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#6 Ian Payne

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:02 AM

Hi Stephen. Possibly a couple of things could cause blur, Check that you eyepiece is set properly. Set focus to infinity and adjust eyepiece until the distance is in sharp focus.(point it at something far away) The 814 diopter is easily knocked out of wack.(check it every time you start to use it after putting it away) possibly also the 85 filter is full of fungus. If the lens is overly fungeed up you will see it with our naked eye in good light.
To test if the manual setting is working, put in batterys, then pull out the round dial on the side that says manual. Spin it around while looking through the viewfinder and you will see if it stays put after you have let go of the dial. If it stays put on the f number you leave it on then its good. Hope this makes sense. Download a manual off the net and learn its features.(variable shutter, Fades ect) It makes the d10 look big and clumsy.(imho) hope this helps. http://www.mondofoto...m814electronic/ hopefully the both work well.
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#7 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for the link, Ian! "The lens has been newly developed to obtain high contrast and definition to a degree unparalleled in similar cameras." I love the use of the present tense there!

I will try that suggestion about the diopter. I tested out manual setting and glory be it does work. That should come in handy. I purchased an 85 filter from B&H so that I won't have to use the inbuilt filter, which as you said might possibly have deteriorated or gotten some fungus on it. As far as I can tell, the lens itself looks clean...

I'm also wondering if the Canon might not have been reading the cartridge properly -- I used Tri-X and Ektachrome when I had the less than optimum images. If so, would the solution then be to go manual and expose an f-stop or two higher to brighten up the image???

I read somewhere that Vision 3 500T has a lot of latitude and should expose well even if the camera doesn't read the notch properly. Have you ever used 500T with your Canon?

Sorry to keep plying you with questions. But it is just so darn intriguing to learn about these good Super 8 cams that I might have used way back when!
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#8 Ian Payne

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:44 AM

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=56003
Also, make sure your settings on the 814, the fader and the variable shutter switch are both set on the same dot or number.
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#9 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:28 AM

Thanks, again. Link is very helpful. Looking forward to using the "stupid-proof" 500T. (I recently visited Times Square at night, that would have been perfect to test the 500T -- maybe next time.) I shot some Ektachrome 100 this weekend - taking advantage of the sunny days here in New England. It was good to know I had set my diopter correctly following your advice.

The Minolta D10 should arrive soon. My first project may be a reshoot (using Ektachrome 100) of a narrative scene I shot on an Elmo Super 8 back in 1974 -- using the same 5 actors who are now, what, 38 years older! Scary thought -- but should make a great short film if I can pull it off...
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#10 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:56 AM

Well, the D10 arrived and looked to be in good condition. I tested it out and the electrics seemed to be working fine. Nice camera, I was really liking it. I shot half a roll at the lower frame speeds of 24, 18, and on down. Then I put the high speed battery pack on and plugged it in. It read fine on the battery meter, but when I clicked the trigger to shoot, nothing happened and all the power went off. I flicked the on-off switch back and forth and got power again, but every time I try to shoot all the power goes off. Doesn't sound good.

As I bought it off eBay I still have time to send it back. It's such a nice camera though I would love to keep it if repairable. But I heard once the electrical system goes that's it...

Any suggestions appreciated!
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#11 Chris Burke

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 06:56 AM

Well, the D10 arrived and looked to be in good condition. I tested it out and the electrics seemed to be working fine. Nice camera, I was really liking it. I shot half a roll at the lower frame speeds of 24, 18, and on down. Then I put the high speed battery pack on and plugged it in. It read fine on the battery meter, but when I clicked the trigger to shoot, nothing happened and all the power went off. I flicked the on-off switch back and forth and got power again, but every time I try to shoot all the power goes off. Doesn't sound good.

As I bought it off eBay I still have time to send it back. It's such a nice camera though I would love to keep it if repairable. But I heard once the electrical system goes that's it...

Any suggestions appreciated!


Did you try it with the regular batteries? Not the high speed pack? if you want it repaired, try Duall. They might be able to. But the cheapest and easiest way is to buy another camera, or two or three. Contact the seller and ask them if they know anything.
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#12 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 11:21 AM

Did you try it with the regular batteries? Not the high speed pack? if you want it repaired, try Duall. They might be able to. But the cheapest and easiest way is to buy another camera, or two or three. Contact the seller and ask them if they know anything.



Yes, Chris, I tried it with just the regular battery pack as well. Tried everything. Maybe the high-speed pack caused some kind of power surge when I plugged it in and shorted out something? (I'm no electrician...)

If I can return it to the seller I still would definitely like to purchase this model again. A big selling point is the 32 and 50fps even if that high speed power pack may be problematical. Also would consider a D12 if anyone is selling...

I've checked out Duall online. Has anybody out there had experience with camera repair at Duall? The prices for the used cameras seem fairly high...
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#13 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:07 PM

Well, a happy outcome on the D10 saga. I found a repair person who was not only willing to check out the electrical problem, but diagnosed and fixed it within 24 hours of me contacting him! Now that's service!

The problem was faulty contact in the battery compartments. There just wasn't enough spring in the springs that push the batteries together. That, and a little bit of corrosion from the batteries. All it took was a good brushing with a baking soda type solution, and some delicate stretching of the springs to make them springier.

It had earlier crossed my mind that the batteries were not getting full contact. But I didn't follow up on it like I did when I first bought my Canon 814 and got it working by cleaning off a little corrosion.

There's so many batteries in a fully loaded D10 (12 double AAs all told) that it seems to me there's a much higher chance of this happening on the D10 than on other cameras. Considering that electrical failure is a somewhat common issue with this camera, I would think those who have given up their D10s for dead might try stretching out the springs for the batteries and possibly see Lazarus-like results.

Ian, have you tried this on your D10...???
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#14 Ian Payne

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:52 AM

Yes I did, spent time and money but was still over a stop out, and compared to my Canon 1014 electronic it was just hard work and not worth the risk of bad exposures. Mine was also bought off ebay in about 2007. Had bad battery corrosion but with time cleaned it all as well as it was going to get. Might give it another chance later but probably only with tri-x. Keep your eye out for a 1014 electronic. Your interval timer will work with it, You can never have enough. Glad you got the d10 to work, enjoy
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#15 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:18 PM

Ian, just a couple quick questions: I just loaded some 100D into the Minolta D10. Keeping the filter cancellation screw in (it doesn't seem to matter either way...) What I want to know is what does the camera read the film speed as? Is it reading it as 100? Or some other speed for which I could adjust through the exposure compensation.

Not knowing this -- unless I hear from you or somebody else I'm going to shoot the first half of the roll at full auto. Then the second half I'll use the exposure compensation to overexpose (bring the f-stop to a more open setting in the meter) by one or more steps.

Does this sound like a plan?

Also, I plan to use some 500T at night. Can I just shoot that on regular auto? Or do I have to compensate?

Trying to get my head around the exposure requirements for different cams and films...

Any suggestions appreciated!
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#16 Ian Payne

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:39 AM

The manual on page 6 says daylight 10-400 and artificial light 16-640
http://issuu.com/fil..._autopak-8_d10_
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#17 Chris Burke

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

Glad to hear you got the camera fixed. In terms of exposure, if the camera meters it at 400, you should be all set. Now that it is working, have you tested the internal meter to see how accurate it is? Use the 100D on a sunny day and shoot it in full sun light at a gray card. you should get a reading around ƒ22, most shutters are 180 degrees. I am not sure what shutter angle is on your camera, that will help you find out where your camera is exposing the film in relation to the film cart. With 7219 you will get an image in most any camera that will be usable. It is hard to screw up. Duall is great for repairs, I have used them. Who did your repair? They sound great and it never hurts to know another camera tech.
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#18 Chris Burke

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:45 PM

I double posted by mistake and now want to delete this one. Can I?

Edited by Chris Burke, 19 May 2012 - 03:46 PM.

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#19 Stephen Saraceno

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

Thanks, guys, for the prompt replies. I'll try the grey card test, Chris, that will help to know how the camera is metering.

The repair was done by Pro Video in Uxbridge, MA They of course concentrate on video equipment but were willing to take a look.
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